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Summary Of Essay Poor Relations By Charles Lamb

The story depicts the troubles of family members who are poor and deprived of their rightful wealth. It talks about the law of primogeniture, where the eldest heir got everything and the rest of the siblings were robbed off their dues on account of such laws. Through the voice of Elia, the protagonist who is a rich heir, the writer makes fun of the poor relatives who arrive at family dinners with their heads hung in shame due to their poverty. They are self-conscious and nervous about their appearance and manners.Elia finds them insignificant. While the host does not want them, they are also unsure if they deserve to be in that place. However, their situation is forced by their inability to procure a better meal.Often they show up when the rich are entertaining other rich friends. Out of courtesy, the rich are obligated to ask them to share the meal even though it is scarce for so many people.The poor relatives try to be coy and reject at first but end up taking the biggest slices of everything. They are anxious and yet behave as if they somehow belong. The people serving them are also confused by their actions while the guests are intrigued.if(typeof ez_ad_units!='undefined')ez_ad_units.push([[728,90],'englishsummary_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_0',654,'0','0']);__ez_fad_position('div-gpt-ad-englishsummary_com-medrectangle-3-0');But the misery does not end here. These relatives then narrate some of the most embarrassing memories that are both humiliating and ill-timed.Elia then talks about female relatives who are even more out of place than their male counterparts. For them, it is even more difficult to hide their deficiencies and shabby appearances. if(typeof ez_ad_units!='undefined')ez_ad_units.push([[728,90],'englishsummary_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_3',655,'0','0']);__ez_fad_position('div-gpt-ad-englishsummary_com-medrectangle-4-0');

summary of essay poor relations by charles lamb

As the title of the essay indicates, the subject is poor relations, by which Charles Lamb means relatives with very little money. They were common in early 19th century England because society favored the accumulation of wealth into a few hands. For example, the laws of primogeniture ensured that great estates were inherited in their entirety by the eldest son, rather than divided among the children. This kept the estates intact and maintained the family prestige. Custom, as Samuel Richardson had outlined a half century earlier in Sir Charles Grandison, also tended to favor leaving even discretionary income to one heir, something Richardson deplored as cruel to other relatives. Jane Austen's novels, close to Lamb's period, also dealt with the issue: the plots of both Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice are put into motion by the real or threatened loss of an estate to a male heir.

What kept wealth concentrated in a few hands (the good fortune of eldest sons) tended to leave other relatives in more precarious situations that could lead to poverty, especially given the lack of a social safety net in that period. Then, as now, having the poor relation show up for dinner could be embarrassing (if you have seen the movie National Lampoon Vacation, you will remember the comic problems that arise when poor, uneducated relations show up), and this becomes the focus of the Lamb essay, though more poignantly than in National Lampoon: the poor relative who arrives at the house for a meal.

Elia goes on to say in the next paragraph that while he started off his essay half comically, the subject of poor relations is also painful and tragic. He mentions his own childhood and a poor relation, an old gentleman, who would come to dinner every Saturday and one day was offended when Elia's aunt pushed a second helping of food on him saying, Do take another slice, Mr. Billet, for you do not get pudding every day." He gets revenge later on her calling out his poverty by labeling her superannuated, which means obsolete or outdated. But Elia allows the poor relation to land on a note of dignity, for this elderly man dies poor, but with five pounds to his name: "enough to bury him." The very ending, however, is ambiguous, possibly ironic: he had "never been obliged to any man for a six-pence" (if you don't count the weekly meals).

The relationships of the narrator with the grandmother and his brother have been described very clearly. This description has served to clarify his characteristic features; develop the theme of family relationships as well as the theme of loss; and, to make the essay dramatic.

In 1792 while tending to his grandmother, Mary Field, in Hertfordshire, Charles Lamb fell in love with a young woman named Ann Simmons. Although no epistolary record exists of the relationship between the two, Lamb seems to have spent years wooing her. The record of the love exists in several accounts of Lamb's writing. "Rosamund Gray" is a story of a young man named Allen Clare who loves Rosamund Gray but their relationship comes to nothing because of her sudden death. Miss Simmons also appears in several Elia essays under the name "Alice M". The essays "Dream Children", "New Year's Eve", and several others, speak of the many years that Lamb spent pursuing his love that ultimately failed. Miss Simmons eventually went on to marry a silversmith and Lamb called the failure of the affair his "great disappointment".

In prosperity it is easy to forget. More than a hundred years ago Charles Lamb wrote a humorous essay under the rather ambiguous title of "Poor Relations," in which he described the poor relation as casting a shadow on the threshold, in the high noon of prosperity.--In prosperity men do their best to forget such shadows. But in poverty and in wartime it is different. There is suffering, and, in thinking of a loss such as Sir Harry Lauder's, there comes to most men the question whether the subject is not worth more thought, and more interest, and more effort in a time of peace such as the present.

The sibling relationship is a natural laboratory for young children to learn about their world.3 It is a safe and secure place to learn how to interact with others who are interesting and engaging playmates, to learn how to manage disagreements, and to learn how to regulate both positive and negative emotions in socially acceptable ways.33 There are many opportunities for young children to develop an understanding of social relations with family members who may be close and loving at times and nasty and aggressive at other times. Further, there are many opportunities for siblings to use their cognitive skills to convince others of their point of view, teach or imitate the actions of their sibling. The positive benefits of establishing warm and positive sibling relationships may last a lifetime, whereas more difficult early relationships may be associated with poor developmental outcomes. The task for young siblings is to find the balance between the positive and negative aspects of their interactions as both children develop over time.

At last it seemed as if the little family might be reunited. Then Thornton caught chicken pox: "so disfigured you would hardly know him" and, despite a raging fever, "patient as a lamb."8 John, too, was cutting teeth and fretful. "Oh," cried Marianne, "what miserable nights have I passed!"9 Her anxiety was worsened by their financial state. The Hunts were chronically poor. Now extra expenses of doctors, sickbeds, barley water, and jelly strained them to the limit. Distracted Marianne lost her purse and was obliged to consider pawning her watch. "Oh Henry," she wailed again to her husband, "this has been a trial indeed to your dear girl."10

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